Meet our 2020 Conference Presenters...

 Ben Stuart: Prairie Land & Cattle Co. Hardisty, AB

“Regenerative Agriculture: Cost-Saving Production Methods”

Originally from New Zealand, Ben Stuart moved to Canada 12 years ago. Ben and his family are regenerative-focused farmers, with ranches in both Alberta and Saskatchewan. They have a strong focus on soil health and building soil with forage crops and livestock integration, as well as increasing on-farm production. Cover crops are now a big part of the cash crop and livestock production system, and having these two integrated helps build resilience.

Sean McGrath: Roundrock Ranching, Vermilion, AB

“Technology in Context: Picking the Winning Tools”

Sean McGrath is a 5th generation rancher who together with wife Tanya and their family manage a 112-yea- old operation breeding roughly 250 females each year and custom-grazing another 200 pairs in the summertime. The ranch markets purebred and commercial cattle as well as grass finished beef and is structured around grazing. In 2014 the ranch was awarded the provincial and national TESA award. The range is an early adopter of many technologies aimed at improving a triple bottom line. Through his company Ranching Systems, Sean provides consulting services to the beef industry, primarily focusing on livestock genetics and ranch/range management.  Sean writes for several beef industry publications and through his company provides electric fencing supplies, forage seed and range monitoring education and tools.

Keynote Speaker Kevin Stewart from AgVision Media

“Food Trends: Disruptive Value Shifts of Gen Y & Z that Will Help Us Manage the Future of Food”

Olympic Producer, farmer, entrepreneur and disruptive thought leader. Kevin Stewart is President of AgVision Media, the unique media company focused on performance issues related to sports, agriculture and business management. He has led and consulted on numerous media projects to improve awareness of management and profitability issues relevant to agriculture. Kevin consults with a broad range of agricultural companies and NGOs on how to improve management performance that consistently leads to innovation.

Paul Johnson

Graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, Paul Johnson joined the provincial government in 1993. Completing his MBA from the University of Guelph, Paul has held many roles in the Ministry of Agriculture over 26 years, and is currently Assistant Deputy Minister. He currently provides oversight of the Policy, Trade and Value-Added and Livestock branches.


CATTLE COLLEGE presented by Saskatchewan Beef & Forage Symposium

Moderator: Dr. Greg Penner


Alan Iwaasa, AAFC Swift Current

“AC Saltlander: A Saline-Tolerant Forage – What we Know and What are the Gaps”

A research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre (SCRDC), Alan is a Grazing Management and Ruminant Nutrition whose research involves studying native and tame grazing pasture management, animal-plant grazing interface, beef cattle nutrition, assessing and improving forage quality, and use of new and traditional forages on different soil conditions. His recent research has focused on the use of AC Saltlander, Sainfoin and Purple Prairie Clover to achieve economical and environmentally sustainable production systems in the semi-arid regions of Saskatchewan. He is an Adjunct Professor with the Dept. of Animal & Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan, was raised on a mix farm in southern Alberta and enjoys working with agriculture producers and the industry.

Bill Houston AAFC Regina

“Producing Forage in Saline Areas” - Bill Houston began his study of agriculture while growing up on a cattle and grain farm in southeastern Saskatchewan.  Bill received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture and his Masters degree in Plant Science; both from the University of Saskatchewan. Bill is a Senior Range and Forage Biologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and will discuss AC Saltlander as a means of improving agricultural productivity of saline areas across the prairies.

Shawn Fraser

Shawn Fraser and his family operate Fraser Seeds Ltd. near Wymark, Saskatchewan. In his second term as President of the Saskatchewan Seed Growers Association, Shawn plays an active role in guiding the seed industry in this province. He has a keen interest in research that will lead to improved and expanded options for producers across the Prairies, as evidenced by his collaboration with the Swift Current Research and Development Centre in the development of new varieties.

Dr. Sean Asselin, AAFC Swift Current

“Breeding Perennials for Resiliency”

Sean Asselin recently joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as a new research scientist in native and perennial forage breeding at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre (SCRDC). Initially from Winnipeg, Sean obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from the University of Manitoba prior to joining the SCRDC in June of 2019. Sean’s research program is focused primarily on the development of adapted native forages using a combination of traditional plant breeding methods and the development of genomic and phenomic toolsets to aid in enhancing perennial forage yield, establishment, persistence and quality in challenging growth environments.

Dr. Mika Asai-Coakwell, University of Saskatchewan

“Tales of a New Beef Geneticist”

Mika Asai-Coakwell is an Assistant Professor in the Animal and Poultry Science Department at the University of Saskatchewan. She grew up in Saskatoon, but spent many years across Canada and overseas until returning home in 2017.

Dr. Murray Jelinski, Western College of Veterinary Medicine

“Deworming Dividends: Saskatchewan-based Survey”

Dr. Jelinski received his DVM from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. Upon graduation he established a mixed animal practice in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, which he owned and operated for seven years. In 1992 he returned to the WCVM to complete a MSc. degree in epidemiology. In 1995, he began a career in the Canadian veterinary pharmaceutical industry, starting as Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Product Development for Hoechst Roussel Vet (Regina, Sk) and ending as General Manager for MetaMorphix Canada Inc., an early stage biotechnology company. In 2005, he joined the WCVM as the “Alberta Chair in Beef Cattle Health and Production Medicine.” This position was created to foster education and research in the area of beef cattle production. Dr. Jelinski has a broad range of research interests including: the changing demographics of veterinary practitioners and livestock producers in western Canada; pneumonia and arthritis in feedlot cattle caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma bovis; Toe Tip Necrosis Syndrome in feedlot cattle; Digital Dermatitis (“Hairy Heel”) in feedlot cattle; and internal parasites of pastured yearling cattle.

Dr. Jillian Banaird, AAFC Swift Current

“Do Multiple Forage Species pay Multiple Dividends?”

A research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre (SCRDC), Jiilan is a Forage Ecophysiologist whose research involves studying forage crops and the interface between plants and their environment. Jillian works with forage breeders, ecologists, and animal scientists to develop forages that are beneficial nutritionally, environmentally, and economically. Her recent research has focused on the use of forage cover crops in the semi-arid regions of Saskatchewan and she works directly with farmers to explore the impact and feasibility of grazing cover crops.

Duane Thompson, Tee Two Land and Cattle Co., Kelliher

“Producer Perspective”

Tee Two Land and Cattle Co is a family operation in the Parkland Region south of Kelliher SK. It has always been a mixed operation of cows, feedlot, forages, grains, pulses and oilseeds. The forages are rotated around half the land base and annual crops are seeded on the other half. Density grazing the entire herd in one group has resulted in growing more forages than ever imagined possible while achieving exceptional animal performance, strong yields and ever increasing organic matter. Soil health has become a major focus of the operation and as the soil improves with some fields as high as 7.5%OM the ability to support more households follows right behind.  The multiple enterprises make for a 365 day a year job but the synergy of the various enterprises working together continues to be more and more evident every year and self-insures us from market ebbs and flows. Our main goal is to build a profitable, sustainable business that provides a desirable lifestyle for all involved and to have the future generations that choose, join the team.

Janelle Smith & Dr. Gabriel Ribeiro, University of Saskatchewan

“Diverse beef production: Exploring Opportunity”

Janelle Smith is from Vermilion, AB. She worked in various agricultural jobs before pursuing a degree in Animal Science from U of S. In 2017 she started a Master's degree in Animal Science under the supervision of Dr. John McKinnon and Dr. Bart Lardner studying feedlot nutrition and economics.

Sarah Sommerfeld

Sarah Sommerfeld earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the U of S College of Agriculture in 2002.  She began her career as a Professional Agrologist in 2005 with the Ministry of Agriculture.  She has worked in several different roles with the Ministry, currently as an Agri-Environmental Specialist.  Outside of her role with the Ministry, Sarah with her husband, Ryan, have two daughters, Hayden, age 13 and Emma, age 9. They have operated a mixed farm in the area since 2003. Recently, Sarah and Ryan have been working through a succession plan with Sarah’s father, to transition into operating Sommer Green Forages, a 5,000-acre grain and forage operation which produces canola, wheat, specialty peas, flax, alfalfa and timothy.

Dr. Gabriel Ribeiro comes from a family of beef and dairy farmers in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He obtained his DVM, and MSc. and Ph.D. in Animal Science (ruminant nutrition) from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil. After the completion of his Ph.D. he worked as post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Tim McAllister at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. After a year at the University of Calgary, Gabriel became assistant professor and the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Chair at the University of Saskatchewan In September of 2019. His research interest is in beef cattle production and nutrition and his research focuses on uncovering nutritional strategies to improve health, performance, and profitability, while simultaneously lessening the environmental impact of beef cattle production.

Dr. Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, AAFC Lethbridge

“On the Road Again: Transportation Regulations and Research”

Dr. Schwartzkopf-Genswein is a senior scientist (Beef cattle welfare and production) with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, AB. Her research includes pain/stress assessment and mitigation strategies associated with routine management procedures such as transport, castration, dehorning, and lameness. She has also focused her research in the area of stress reduction and early detection of illness focusing on BRD in feedlot cattle.

Dr. Shelby Roberts, Lacadena - Moderator

Tamara Carter, her husband Russ and their three children run a mixed farming operation along the South Saskatchewan River near Lacadena, Saskatchewan. They crop 6,000 acres and run 200 head of commercial Black Angus cattle on 7,000 acres of native prairie grasslands. A former Calgary resident and University of Calgary Alumni, Tamara was transplanted by marriage to Saskatchewan in 1993. With no farming or ranching background, she had a steep learning curve ahead of her as she became part of a third-generation family-run operation, and embraced rural life and the joys and challenges of farming and ranching with enthusiasm. Her interest in forages and research led her to the Saskatchewan Forage Council, which she is currently chairing for a third term. She also sits on the Strategic Advisory Board of the recently constructed Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, in Clavet, SK. An avid horticulturalist and Master Gardener, Tamara can often be found outside working cattle, patching fence or pulling weeds in her many gardens.

Dr. Shelby Roberts, Nicholasville, KY

“Cow-calf Gut Health” - Shelby Roberts is currently a Beef Research Scientist at Alltech in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Roberts’ passion for the beef industry started at an early age while growing up on a commercial cow-calf operation in West Texas. Roberts earned a B.S. degree in Animal Science at West Texas A&M University, a M.S. degree in Ruminant Nutrition from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. in Agriculture with an emphasis in Ruminant Health and Immunology from West Texas A&M University.

With experience in ruminant nutrition and ruminant health, Roberts interests focus on applied beef management practices that aim at improving animal health through nutrition.

Joyce Parslow: Executive Director Marketing & Communications, Canada Beef

“Messaging to the Consumer: Your Investment at Work”

As a dairy farmer’s daughter, Joyce has long had a penchant for agriculture. She has worked in marketing services, consumer content creation and promotions professionally for over 20 years. Through positions at Nestlé Canada, Foodland Ontario and Beef Information Centre, Joyce has represented the consumer voice in marketing and communication strategies and campaigns. At Canada Beef Joyce works in both branded and generic beef initiatives, developing programs that build trust, affinity and loyalty for Canadian Beef and beef in general.



Canadian Cattlemen’s Association update: Dennis Laycraft, CEO

Beef Cattle Research Council update: Andrea Brocklebank, Executive Director

Andrea Brocklebank is the Executive Director of the Beef Cattle Research Council. She has worked in various roles within the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association over the last fourteen years. In her current role she oversees the delivery of BCRC’s research and extension programming and the national Verified Beef Production Plus program. Andrea has a B.A. in Agricultural Studies and an M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics. Andrea lives on her family’s farming operation near High River, Alberta with her husband and two sons.

Michael Young, President, Canada Beef

"Canada Beef Update"

Michael Young has worked in the Canadian red meat industry for over 40 years specializing in beef, veal and pork marketing, sales, technical and product development and education in both the domestic and export marketplace. Young served as Vice President, Technical Programs and Marketing Services for Canada Pork International (CPI) from 2007 to 2019. Before joining CPI, Young held the position of Vice President, International Programs for Canada Beef Export Federation and Director of Operations Canada/US for the Beef Information Centre. He also held senior management positions with Sunterra Meats and the Alberta Pork Producers Development Corporation. During his professional career, Young has promoted Canadian beef, veal and pork in more than 25 countries and conducted

over 300 carcass-cutting, merchandising and sausage making demonstrations. He has authored numerous technical cutting and purchasing manuals, guides, merchandising resources and financial yield and performance analysis tools for the Canadian red meat industry. Michael Young and his wife Karla have four children and two grandchildren.



Keynote Speaker Brett Stuart, Vice President of Global Market Planning with Global AgriTrends

Global AgriTrends was organized in 2006 and provides global market research, analysis and forecasting to a variety of clients around the world.  Brett was formerly the economist for the U.S. Meat Export Federation.  He has conducted numerous research and analysis projects in the global meat trade area as well as advising government representatives on international trade issues.  Brett has conducted on-the-ground agriculture industry research for a variety of clients on six continents. Raised on a cattle ranch, Brett and his family now live on a farm in Idaho.




Saskatchewan's Premier Beef Event

For more information or to register: